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Friday was Brian Schoonbaert's final day as C.E.O. of Prairie Mountain Health.

Schoonbaert says one of the things he is most proud about his time with PMH is making sure that rural health's voice was heard and not forgotten.

He adds staffing shortages across PMH was definitely the biggest challenge he faced.

"Physician and general staff shortages.  It is going to take some time to get through this.  This did not just happen because of COVID.  It is nmulti faceted.  It took a few years to get here and it is going to take a few years to get out of it, but we will get out of it."

He says some of the consequences from this have included staff feeling overwhelmed coming out of the COVID pandemic, which has continued to present day today. 

He adds that has also kept them from providing services to communities that they would normally expect to get closer to home. 

As he hands over the C.E.O. position to Treena Slate, Schoonbaert wishes that he could have done more regarding the current staffing shortages across PMH, and the financial ramifications of continuing to provide some services through this. 

"I know the government has made numerous commitments to help us fix that problem, but I think there is a bit of a gap between where we are now and maybe what will come.  And that worries me in terms of what are we going to do in the meantime until we train more and recruit more.' 

Schoonbaert applauded he over 75 hundred saff at Prairie Mountain Health for having a "We can do this" attitude throuh the current staffing shortages.   

Schoonbaert says he is looking forward to etting some tie off and spending more time with his family.